Monday, November 30, 2009

Lesson learned

Yikes. No pics today, I'm afraid, as I forgot to bring the camera yesterday, but a painful lesson learned nevertheless.

Played against my opponent of two weeks ago, he of the poor dice rolls. We slapped together a pretty big game - 2000 points, because he wanted to try a list he's been working on - anti-armour infanty. Playing panzergrenadiers he put down 2 Pak43s, 3 Pak40s, some artilley (105s?) and 4 (4!!!) Panthers, plus three good PGren platoons dug in the woods. I took my painted stuff (see below), but filled out the existing companies, and added some SU85s.

NB/Update: Turns out he undercosted some of his stuff, and I was playing at around a 400p deficit. Which helps explain the following.

I was slaughtered. I'd lost two tank companies, half the Su85s, and my battalion commander by the end of turn 3. Some of this was screw-ups - I forgot things like my large morter platoon gets a re-roll to hit, the scenario we were playing called for him to withdraw platoons starting turn 3 (we were playing a fighting withdrawel - he started out dug in and gone to ground, so my initial firing had little effect, but loses platoons as the game goes on), and he had good (though not ridiculous) dice.

Much of it, however, was just inexperience. This is the first time I've played against a list with significant AT resources, and frankly, for late-war germans, they're scary. None of the tanks I'm running can penetrate panther front armour, and all of his AT can blow through mine without bothering with checking if my armour deflects his shots (I have to roll 6s to bounce his lightest AT, the PaK40s). I tried to use terrain, but in the large game we were playing, there just wasn't enough of it to hide behind - half my tank companies were necessarily out in the open. As attacker, I had to close in to claim objectives, but didn't have the resources to supress his fire enough to do so in relative safety.

Several lessons learned - some meta, some not.

I think German lists benefit from bigger games - German units are effective in this game, but are costly. At larger point totals, cost isn't as much of a factor - it doesn't prevent one from working in a wide range of capacities. I'd be curious to see what happened if we played the same scenario at 1500. I'd have less stuff on the table, but what my list can do wouldn't change - his would.

I'm also going to look around at how much terrain people are using. I've had a couple of comments on the forums about how the tables we are playing on are a bit sparse - I'm going to see what kind of terrian people tend to use.

I'm also beginning to see where combined arms comes into play. Infantry gives me a degree of resiliance my tanks (ironically) lack. Escorting infantry / tankos might give me a buffer, or an anchor around which my tanks can pivot. I'm also becoming aware that despite diminished efficacy, a couple of smaller artillery units might be more effective than one big one - especially since I'm not looking to use my artillery to take out opposing units, but rather to supress AT fire.

I'll update with the results of these experiments as I go.


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